Updated June 3rd
Following guidance from central government, and after discussion with our schools in our area and Haringey Council, we will be re-opening the school in a phased manner for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 only from Monday 8th June. Parents of children in these year groups will be contacted directly to advise on their individual start dates, and which days their child can attend.
We are asking Nursery and children in Years 2-5 to remain at home for the time being, and remote learning will continue to be provided. Any parents claiming FSM vouchers should continue to claim these as normal.
Has the school written a risk assessment for reopening?
The school has a thorough and very detailed risk assessment. This has been written using national and local government guidance. The risk assessment has been scrutinised by our governing body and by Safety Boss the school’s health and safety consultant. The various teaching and support staff unions represented in school will have a looked through the risk assessment before Monday 8th June. The risk assessment will be reviewed weekly and updated where appropriate.
How will social distancing work at school?
There has been a lot of debate about how schools will get children to socially distance in the playgrounds and in class. Social distancing is now a way of life that we are all being asked to adhere to and therefore it is important that children understand why and how social distancing applies to their lives.
We will be talking to the children about how we will be aiming to socially distance in school; however, we do recognise the challenges this raises, especially with our younger children and it may not always be possible to keep children completely apart. We will be talking to the children about the sorts of games that they can still play in the playground and in class and those games that may not be as appropriate.
All class bubbles will have staggered playtimes and lunchtimes and sadly, children will not be able to mix with other children outside their bubbles.
We are redesigning classrooms so children have maximum space to spread out. We are planning to reduce the amount of shared spaces and resources that children use. However, as we are a primary school, it is inevitable that there will be some shared resources and toys. Where possible we will clean all shared resources before the next bubble arrives in school.
We are limiting the amount of communal areas the children have access to. Corridors will be out of bounds for children unless they need to access the toilets. The children will not be able to use the libraries, dance studios or art rooms.
Each year team are planning to make a video for the children to watch before they return to school. In the videos, the staff will show the children the classrooms, talk how school will be different, and try to put children at ease about returning to school. We will be sending these out and posting them on the school website before each year group returns to school.
When you walk to school, it is important that you model social distancing with your child/ren and do not walk to school with other children and families. When you arrive at school, we ask that you always walk on the left to allow maximum distance between you and other parents and children.
How will pick up and drop off work?
When you arrive in school, we also ask that you respect social distancing and keep 2m away from other children and parents. We have staggered the start and end times of the school day to allow for less of a build-up of people.
It is vitally important that you are not late and that you stick to your drop off or picking up slot. If your child is finding it hard to separate, staff will be available to assist you.
You must arrive promptly and must not congregate on the school grounds after pick up and drop off, please leave the premises straight away.
Once the groupings of children has been finalised we will be sending out details of where you need to be and at what time. If you are late and have missed your slot, we ask that you wait until 9.30am before entering the school.
All children should be escorted onto the school grounds by one parent/carer only and we ask that you do not allow your child to walk to and from school alone.
How will the bubble system work?
Children will be split into either Bubble A (Monday & Tuesday) or Bubble B (Thursday & Friday). As per government, advice there will be no more than 15 children per bubble. We will keep bubbles very separate to the other children in the school. They will have their own staggered timetables and areas for playtime and lunchtime play.
If numbers of children returning are low, we will still be running a two bubble system and children will only be able to be in school two days.
Once we receive confirmation from all parents about who is returning to school, teachers will begin the process of splitting the children up. We will get this information to you as quickly as possible.
Bubbles will be staffed by your class teacher as well as a teaching assistant. Where a child has an Educational Health Care Plan, the SEND team will be in touch to discuss what support we are able to put in place.
What will the curriculum look like when the children return to school?
All children across the country will be in the same position. Once the children return to school, we will be assessing the children to inform planning and address any gaps the children may have with their learning. It is important to keep in mind that this term is only another 7 weeks and the children will not fully catch up in this time.
In particular, the priorities for young children at this time are re-socialisation into new style school routines, speaking and listening, and regaining momentum in particular with early reading.
There will be plenty of opportunities for outdoor learning, especially as we know some of our children have had very little access to the outdoors and the risk of transmission is far lower outside.
For younger children, we have selected what resources will be available to them. There will still be opportunities for child-initiated learning and staff are carefully planning how we can provide this in the safest way as possible. Resources for activities such as painting, sticking, cutting, small world play, indoor and outdoor construction activities will be washed before and after use and where possible, we will be discouraging children from sharing these.
Where children have fallen behind, we will be re-teaching and providing plenty of opportunities for children to practise different skills. Where necessary we will be re-teaching phonics and providing children with appropriately matched reading books to practise reading.
Where there are small numbers significantly behind others, then we will endeavour to ensure they receive support as intensively as can be managed to catch up, and liaise where possible with parents and carers to ensure they can support too.
In Year 6, it is unlikely that many of the end of term traditions will be able to take place, for example, our leaver’s assembly and we already know PGL has been cancelled. We will provide opportunities for children to discuss this as it may be a source of anxiety or sadness. However, we will be planning a range of activities and lessons to mark the end of their time at Coleridge as well as supporting the children in their move to their new secondary schools.
There will also be plenty of opportunities for children to learn outside and scheduled time for each Bubble to use different areas of the school grounds.
Hand washing and hygiene
Throughout the day, children will have opportunities to wash their hands. Teachers will remind the children the importance of this. We are splitting all middle areas into two areas in order for each bubble to have additional handwashing facilities. All middle areas now have soap dispensers, hand towels and lidded bins. Please can you also remind your children about the importance of good hand hygiene when they return to school. We do not have any plans to provide hand cream for the children and we ask that children do not bring this into school. If your children do have dry hands please can you moisturise before and after school at home.
As per government advice we also ask that you send your children into school each day in clean clothes.
How will you keeping the school clean?
The school already has a thorough daily cleaning regime that takes place daily before school and after school. There will now be two additional cleaners on Coleridge East and Coleridge West throughout the day. They will be constantly cleaning all commonly used areas for example door handles, tables and emptying bins. We are closing the school on Wednesdays for cleaners to be able to get around and clean the rest of the school. The site team meet regularly with me, and we will be carefully monitoring cleaning around the school, and if required will look to increase the amount of cleaning taking place. Classrooms will also be cleared of any extraneous materials to aid effective cleaning.
What are the arrangements for lunches?
Children will eat their lunches with other children in their Bubbles in their classrooms. Children will wash their hands before eating and we will clean tables before they eat. Children in Reception and Year 1 will be provided with a daily free packed lunch as they were before the school closed. If you want to send your child in with their own lunch, please let the school office know as soon as possible.
Year 6 – we ask that you provide your child with a packed lunch. If you are currently eligible for a free school meal, we ask that you continue to use the voucher system that is currently in place. Please note that packed lunches should not contain nuts.
What will happen with remote learning?
Remote learning will continue for those year groups who are not returning to school. However, please be aware that the amount of Remote Learning on offer will change, as staff will now be back in school planning and teaching children as well over the course of the week. Year team leaders are meeting to discuss this further and we will send further information in due course.
We are very aware that there are some children who are not able to return to school in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. We are thinking very carefully about how we keep in contact and what types of learning experience we can offer those children.
There are no plans as yet for what sort of provision if any will be provided over the summer holidays and we are still awaiting guidance from the government on this.
Will the school be doing temperature checks for children?
Government advice is that, parents, carers and settings do not need to take children’s temperatures every morning. Routine testing of an individual’s temperature is not a reliable method for identifying coronavirus. The school has a supply of thermometers; and these will be used where appropriate.
If you suspect your child or a member of their family has symptoms that might be due to coronavirus, please do not send them into school. Please follow the COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection guidance, this states that the ill person should remain in isolation for 7 days and the rest of the household in isolation for 14 days. We ask that if this the case you let the school know, and also once you have been tested what the result is.
PPE at school
The school has a good supply of PPE. The DfE (Department for Education) and PHE (Public Health England) guidance does not recommend the use of face masks (or other PPE) for staff working in schools, with the exception of those staff working with children who may require intimate care or those staff supporting children with suspected Covid-19 symptoms. However we will not be preventing staff from wearing masks if it makes them feel more comfortable being in school.
As with staff, children are not required to wear face masks. In fact, particularly for primary school children, it would be difficult to manage and comes with the risks associated with adjusting masks and more frequently touching your face. The same applies to gloves. If gloves were to become infected and children were to touch their faces, no protection is provided.
What happens if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 in my child’s class?
The following is the advice from the government. Should a child, or staff member develop symptoms compatible with coronavirus (COVID-19), they will be sent home and self-isolate for 7 days. Their fellow household members should self-isolate for 14 days. Staff, children and their families should arrange to be tested.
Where the child or staff member tests positive, the rest of their class/group within the class will be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. The other household members of that wider class do not need to self-isolate unless the child or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms.
As part of the national test and trace programme, if other cases are detected within the child’s cohort or in the wider education or childcare setting, Public Health England’s local Health Protection Teams will conduct a rapid investigation and will advise on the most appropriate action to take. In some cases, a larger number of other children and young people may be asked to self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure – perhaps the whole class, site or year group.
We will be contacting nursery parents with more details as and when we have them.
When will school be open for children in Years 2, 3, 4 and 5?
At the time of writing, there are no plans for the school to re-open for these year groups. We already have plans to further improve our remote learning offer for these year groups. We will be also sending out a survey to parents to take feedback on our remote learning offer and update you about changes.
Key worker and vulnerable children provision
This provision will continue, though there will be some changes to how it will have to be run, please look out for an email about this. If you would like your child to access this provision, please contact the school office at email@example.com.
The Wellbeing team have collated some information that we hope you will find helpful in supporting your child, either in the preparation for returning to school, or some ideas for supporting children who are still at home. There are also some resources for adults. Please read the following from the Wellbeing team:
There has been much information shared in the media about how to look after our mental and physical health. There has also been many documents shared amongst professionals who work with children. We have taken what we consider to be the most appropriate and hopefully user friendly and helpful to you and your child, as we know too much information can add to feeling overwhelmed.
We are aware that some parents and carers may be experiencing significant anxiety and unease about their child’s transition back to school. We appreciate the thoughts and worries you may have, they are valid and understandable in the current circumstances.
We have been pleased to hear how much the classes have been supporting each other, regular chats and video calls. It is so reassuring to know that our school community is continuing to be supportive and inclusive of each other. We are all adapting to this new way of life and even for the children who will be starting to return to school, it will be different for them and we are all working hard to make sure that is as enjoyable and safe for the children. For the children who will remain at home, although there has been some easing of restrictions and this has meant change for some children and families, this is still not how we imagined our lives would be.
Please look out for a separate email from the Wellbeing team with some suggested ideas and resources. If you have any concerns about your child please contact the school and we will get in touch.
What will happen in September?
This leaves me to conclude this letter by saying that anything that I could write here would be purely speculative. We will wait to hear from government on this.
As I have written in previous communication, this has been an upsetting and challenging time for all. I could not feel more proud of the staff team who have been incredibly dedicated and supportive in how we can deal with the situation. We have managed to stay open for our children of key workers and our more vulnerable children. Teachers have worked so hard to keep up the high standard of remote learning and communication with their class, the admin team and site team have been a huge support and their hard work, commitment and efficiency has been immensely valuable. By opening up the school building to more children and adults doing drop off and pick up, we are obviously all at more risk, it is absolutely essential that we work together to respect the guidance stated about social distancing and punctuality for drop off and pick up.